When summer comes, distributors bring out the classics in spades for smart tanning. Selection.
the Samurai by Jean-Pierre Melville (1967), June 28
What about Delon-Costello, cold as death waiting for him at the end of the road? The serious gaze, the mechanical gestures, the magnificently spectral allure. the Samuraian iconic film noir with faded colors, marks one of the most intense encounters in (French?) cinema (very short!): Jean-Pierre Melville and Alain Delon. the Samurai is the first part of an informal triptych composed after him of the Red Circle (1970) andA cop (1972), three Melvilodelonian thrillers, sad to cry with a precise staging where stretched time borders on abstraction. the Samurai it’s the story of Jeff Costello, a solitary contract killer, chased by a stubborn commissioner, who wants to understand why a woman, witness of one of his crimes, seeks to cover him up. The music by François de Roubaix is a gem that you can hear again at the Cinémathèque française where a tribute to the composer is taking place until June 29. Melville’s cult film continues to influence many filmmakers. This was already the case with John Woo (The Killer1989), Jim Jarmusch (Ghost Dog, the voice of the samurai by Jim Jarmusch, 1999) or even Johnnie To and his Revenge (2009), with Johnny Hallyday as Costello.
Asterix and Obelix, Mission Cleopatra by Alain Chabat (2002), July 5
This reissue of this masterpiece of absurd comedy, a sort of last stand of what was once called “the Canal spirit”, allows, among other things, to wash the eyes of the recent and pathetic Asterix of Canet. Above all, it allows us to appreciate the way in which Chabat, without betraying the Uderzo-Goscinny spirit, reclaimed the universe to take it to the heights of burlesque. The Depardieu-Clavier couple (Obélix-Astérix) is completely anesthetized by the devastating vitality of Jamel Debbouze, Edouard Baer, Dieudonné (when he was still frequentable) and of course Gérard Darmon. Cleopatra (Monica Bellucci) intends here to assert the supremacy of Egypt over the Roman Empire and asks an architect to build a palace in the middle of the desert in just three months. ” Three months ! How long late? asks Numerobis-Debbouze aptly. Everything is cult here. As a bonus, a new trailer signed Chabat himself and the place at 5 euros.
Private life by Louis Malle (1962), July 5
Of all Louis Malle’s films, this is perhaps one of the most audacious. It is enough to see the first sequences with its succession of chopped plans where each point of assembly is a transgression with the traditional cinematographic language. As if filming Brigitte Bardot at the start of the sixties meant relearning how to show, and therefore how to see. The film is also a mise en abyme of the BB phenomenon then at its peak. Brigitte is Jil, a young actress adored by the crowds who, to protect her privacy, locks herself up in an Italian palace. Outside, her lover, Fabio (Marcello Mastroianni in the momentum of The good life), is preparing a theatrical performance. Jil gradually becomes a tragic heroine, prisoner of her own image and the vertigo it promises. Private life (1962) oddly remains a little-seen film. Its 4K restoration by Gaumont is therefore an event.
Francisca by Manoel de Oliveira (1981), July 12
Film buffs should venture into this demanding but fascinating work by Manoel de Oliveira, inspired by a tragic episode in the life of one of the most important Portuguese writers, Camilo Castelo-Branco (1825 – 1890). The latter is the witness of a lost love, that of his friend José Augusto for Fanny Owen. In “loss” because the passion continues to be questioned and therefore undermined. ” You can’t live on feelings alone! we hear here. Manoel de Oliveira films this fever as a succession of small theaters where eloquence encourages permanent reflection, where time finds itself prisoner of the constraints of the frame and even suffers in places from duplication (repetition of the text along different axes) What especially moving in this Francisca is the plastic richness of the whole.
Melancholia by Lars von Trier (2011), July 21 (large retro Trier)
Lars von Trier will be one of the stars of the summer with a complete retrospective at the Festival de la Rochelle, theatrical reruns (14 LM) and a Blu-Ray box set to follow. How to sort through this disparate and insanely rich work? Perhaps by stopping at one of his masterpieces of incomparable tragic beauty. Too handsome perhaps for Trier himself, who decided to approach each other in the middle of a Cannes rally where Melancholia – since it is about her – was aiming for the supreme gold. While the Dane masterfully exposed the end of the world, he decided, in disconcerting synchronicity, to commit hara-kiri during a Cannes lunar press conference (Hitler nice all that…). Result, Melancholia who could well have overshadowed The Tree of Life, webbed that year, was demoted. It was Kirsten Dunst who took advantage of the laurels. Since time erases everything, we must review Melancholia sheltered from its chaotic orbit and admire its infinite grace.
Virgin Suicides by Sofia Coppola (1999), July 12
The first – and best! – feature film by Sofia Coppola is twenty-four years old. Here he is now older than his protagonists, the tragic Lisbon sisters led by the nymphet Kristen Dunst, 17 years old at the time of the events. Virgin Suicides is adapted from a cult novel by Jeffrey Eugenides published in 1995. The author did not hesitate to praise the work of Sofia C.: ” Of all the adaptations, Sofia’s was the best constructed. I think she’s more intrigued by the girls’ story itself than by the boys’ point of view, so it gives different nuances to the story. When writing the novel, I was more concerned with girls and Sofia understood that very well.” Result, a “daughter of.” behind the camera, Ed Lachman in the photo, Air in the music and a little ethereal miracle that comes out this summer in 4K.
Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud (2007), July 26
Persepolis, Grand Prix of the Cannes Film Festival in 2007 and Caesarized in the process, comes out in 4K. In this adaptation of her own graphic novel, Marjane Satrapi, supported by Vincent Paronnaud, looked back on her own childhood in Iran at the end of the seventies, when the revolution was about to bring down the Shah’s regime and install the Islamic Republic. A “Republic” made up of prohibitions and oppressions which will force the parents of the little girl to leave their country. Beauty of the drawing, intelligence of the scenario…, Persepolis is a magnificent adventure film as much as a plea for freedom. It had totaled nearly 2 million spectators when it was released.